Marketing can be the most confusing and complex part of growing a business.
At any point in time, there are a million things you could be doing, which makes it difficult to determine what exactly you should be focusing your time and energy on in order to grow. And it can often feel like you need to invest a small fortune to pull everything together and be successful.
Websites, email marketing software, graphic design, copywriting, direct mail, Facebook ads, print ads, Snapchat filters… the list seems never-ending. How are you supposed to learn all those skills and tools, put them together and manage everything to pull off marketing that works while you’re working with clients?
The fact is you can’t. Which is why it’s important to first learn (and always remember) the basics and fundamentals of finding and getting new clients. Things you can always do, regardless of your budget, just by focusing on hustling.
Here’s a list of 25 ways you can find new clients without spending a dime.
NOTE: This is a big list. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when reviewing it. Choose one tactic to start with that seems the most doable and is the easiest for you to get traction. Then go do it. Find some quick wins, and use that momentum and energy to carry you into working on another tactic. Then another, and another.
And what’s important to note is that some of the fastest growing service businesses grow through people – not just technology. So be sure to look at #16 as a jumpstart!
1. Send an email to past clients: “Hi
2. Offer to do a free nutrition, movement or exercise seminar for some of your best clients’ places of work.
3. Host a “Bring a Friend Week” for your clients and allow them to bring in their friends to experience all that you have to offer.
4. Place a lead box in local businesses where people can write down their contact information to win a prize. But keep in mind, you need to do this in a business that you have a good relationship with, as their staff will play a key role in getting people to put their names in.
5. Approach businesses and offer them a special “corporate” package for their employees, like an exclusive 30-day challenge just for them.
6. Hold an open house day with a range of different activities that the general public can attend. Have free groups, seminars and workshops running throughout the day that people can come to. Encourage clients to bring friends and family along.
7. Run a challenge (i.e. a fat loss challenge). This could be anywhere from 3 to 6+ weeks with prizes for most body fat percentage lost, muscle gained, etc. You should also have prizes based around incorporating healthy habits.
8. Host a public speaking event and capture all contact information when people arrive. Present the workshop, and at the end ask if anyone is interested in a personal consultation to go over their fitness goals.
9. Implement a referral reward program and present it to clients after giving them positive recognition for successes. Explain how the referral program works and how it will benefit your client. Offer some type of reward.
10. Network with like-minded business people and start rotating business to each other. BNI is a nationwide networking organization and may be a productive place to start.
11. Offer a Saturday clinic at your studio on a specific topic. Market this on all social media. Gather leads from the clinic to convert into clients.
12. Get some plastic gift cards made with an offer on them. You can pass these out to current clients for referrals or to new prospects who come in.
13. Send a text message to past clients – just a check-in with something simple. “Hey
14. Call past clients to check in and see how they’re doing. Offer your help and be interested in them!
15. Get yourself some human billboards and train them for free in exchange for referrals.
16. Follow a guerilla marketing challenge and give away 10 business cards a day for 14 days.
17. Do weekly grocery store tours, educate the public and then present them with a low-barrier offer into one of your programs.
18. Schedule at least one “lunch and learn” for local businesses with 10 or more employees. Give them 20 minutes of content, 10 minutes of Q and A, and then make them a great offer.
19. Give all new clients a certificate to bring a friend along the first week.
20. Send out a targeted mail drop with postcards to your community.
21. Drive around in your own advertising machine. Wrap your car and get a lot of attention for you and your business.
22. Use your blog as a place to educate, nurture and convert prospects into paying clients.
23. Give first. Send your best clients unnanounced gifts, just because. This can be something small—like your mom said, “It’s the thought that counts.”
24.Write articles for local magazines and publications. Give your best information away for free and position yourself as the local fitness and/or fat loss guru.
25. Wear your gym’s swag around town and talk to people—combine this with #16!
Now, while you’re getting busy marketing to new clients, it’s essential to stay focused on bringing your “A” game in serving the clients you currently have. The great energy you bring to motivating and inspiring clients to be their best carries over directly to attracting new people that need your help. And nothing beats word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients!
Remember to keep your marketing plan simple. There will be loads of opportunities to make it complicated and spend more money later.
Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or have a big marketing budget, “hustle” is always the most important word in growing your business!
Sean Greeley, CEO of NPE, has an unrelenting passion for supporting entrepreneurs and growing businesses. For nearly 10 years, NPE has grown to serve over 25,000 fitness business owners in 95 countries. The company has three offices in Orlando, London and Sydney and has been listed 7x on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing, privately owned U.S. corporations. Download NPE’s “Fitness Business Sales & Marketing Planning Guide” and learn how you can request a complimentary diagnostic consultation to start growing your business, achieving your goals, and living your dreams at www.NetProfitExplosion.com/PFP/Marketing